Gestational Diabetes

We will help you control this risk.

 

Gestational diabetes, high blood sugar that occurs during pregnancy, can be a serious risk to the mother and baby if not treated. According to the American Diabetes Association, gestational diabetes affects about 7 percent of all pregnant women.

The Affinity Diabetes, Nutrition and Endocrine Center recommends that all pregnant women undergo a screening for gestational diabetes between their 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. Affinity has a team of specialists who work with obstetricians to control gestational diabetes through diet, exercise, blood sugar testing and insulin, when appropriate. After childbirth, blood sugar levels typically return to normal, but up to 40 percent of women with gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years.

Causes

No one is sure exactly what causes gestational diabetes, but one theory is that hormones from the placenta interfere with how the mother’s body uses insulin. When her body is not able to produce the insulin it needs, glucose (blood sugar) builds up in the blood.

Effects

Untreated gestational diabetes can cause complications for the baby, including increased birth weight, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), jaundice and, rarely, death. Babies with too much insulin are at risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.

Risk Factors

Women who become pregnant late in life, are obese, have African or Hispanic ancestry, have given birth to a baby over nine pounds or had gestational diabetes before are at increased risk for developing gestational diabetes.

Symptoms

The symptoms of gestational diabetes are similar to other forms of diabetes, although many women with gestational diabetes have no symptoms. Common symptoms include: increased thirst and urination, increased appetite combined with weight loss, nausea, fatigue, blurry vision and frequent infections.

For more information about gestational diabetes, call Affinity NurseDirect at 1-800-362-9900.

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